STATEMENT BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
DR. THE HONOURABLE D. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
ON THE OCCASSION OF THE
13TH ANNUAL CARIBBEAN INTERNET GOVERNANCE
TUESDAY, 22ND AUGUST, 2017
TRAINIG DIVISION, WICKHAMS CAY I
AT 9:00 A.M.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome the regional delegates as well as our local representatives to the Caribbean Internet Governance Forum being held in 'Nature's Little Secrets', our beautiful Virgin Islands.
This forum is a vehicle that will foster cooperation between various stakeholders to focus on 'Building Caribbean Capacity' in Internet Governance.
My Government, our business community and our students rely heavily on the Internet to manage their businesses, conduct research and more. If we are to encourage and support the emergence of new, unique and innovative business ideas, then we must ensure policies are in place and current issues resolved.
In fact, my Government is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and small business development and to strengthening international relationships, in positioning the Territory for the future.
We want to build and ensure a strong and thriving business sector; therefore we will continue to work with local Internet Service Providers to ensure enhanced Internet governance.
My Government will continue to move towards a better, more prosperous Virgin Islands and this includes providing opportunities for better quality and affordable Internet service for our residents.
We see Internet Governance as a critical component of our Road Map in charting the course and positioning the Virgin Islands for the future.
I also firmly believe that if we want to grow our respective economies we must use our collective efforts to put effective measures in place that will assist the younger generation in taking their rightful place as the next generation of business leaders.
As you may be aware, a Tropical Wave recently affected the Territory causing significant damage to our roads and infrastructure. The damage caused by flooding and mudslides has caused disruption to many of our local businesses. We are in the recovery process, so we apologise for any remaining debris.
As Minister for Tourism, I am however pleased that we are hosting this forum which will benefit our local businesses, taxi operators and hotels and will further promote and brand this Territory as a favourable destination for similar future events.
It is my hope that you have the opportunity to dine at our restaurants - sample our local cuisines, visit our sister islands to explore what Nature’s Little Secrets truly has to offer, while experiencing our authentic “One BVI” brand.
The British Virgin Islands has earned the reputation as one of the top island destinations in the world. I eagerly anticipate your return with family and friends to our beautiful islands.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as you focus on Building Caribbean Capacity in Internet Governance, it is important that you conduct meaningful and open discussions on the critical issues surrounding this sector and find workable solutions that would benefit our countries and by extension, the entire region.
I wish you productive sessions and I encourage you to form valuable and lasting friendships.